Saturday, April 9, 2016

BSO — 2016/04/07-12

We get two very different works this week: Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra, and Symphony №3 by Bruckner in the 1889 version. Boston Symphony principals Malcolm Lowe and Steven Ansell perform the violin and viola solos, while Music Director Andris Nelsons conducts the concert. The orchestra's performance detail page has the usual links to performer bios (click the thumbnail pics), podcast previews, audio previews and program notes. They also give the following description:
BSO concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and principal viola Steven Ansell join Andris Nelsons and the BSO for one of Mozart's greatest concertos, the Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola. Mozart wrote this exemplar of Classical form and style during a lengthy trip to Paris. Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 was originally composed in 1872 but was subjected to a number of revisions by the composer (the present version being the "1889 version"). The symphony everywhere reveals its deep debt to Richard Wagner, to whom Bruckner dedicated the work "in deepest reverence.
(Emphasis in original.)

I was there for the Thursday concert and, to my surprise, found both pieces enjoyable. It was no surprise with the Mozart. Watching the performers did add to the enjoyment. But I was expecting the Bruckner to become tedious. A colleague once quoted a critic as saying that Bruckner's symphonies are like a walk in the woods: you see many nice things, but nothing happens. But somehow on Thursday evening it held my attention and did not seem too long. It was interesting music. As far as I could tell, both pieces were well played. I was especially impressed by the solos by James Somerville on horn and Elizabeth Rowe on flute.

The review in the Boston Globe is favorable — faintly so for the Bruckner. The reviewer spends more time describing the Mozart. So far, there is no review in the BMInt.

I definitely recommend listening on WCRB at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. It will be rebroadcast on Monday, April 18. (On the 11th the rebroadcast will be last week's Beethoven and Mahler.) Also see their BSO page for links to their podcast, "The Answered Question," including an interview with Maestro Nelsons, and other information about available BSO performances over the station.

If you're nearby, you might want to get a ticket for the performance this evening or the final one on Tuesday, the 13th.

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